(Minghui.org) Once denied admission to prison due to a blood disorder, a woman in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, was admitted to prison in early February 2022 around the Chinese New Year to serve time for her faith in Falun Gong.
Ms. Sun Jiping’s husband, who was incarcerated earlier for his shared faith, was hospitalized after suffering a stroke in prison. Her older sister, who was in her 80s, passed away right before the traditional holiday, after her health took a sharp turn due to the couple being persecuted.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Sun and her husband Mr. Zhou Yonglin, both in their early 70s, were seized by the police at a community fair on January 20, 2021, for passing out informational materials about Falun Gong. The police ransacked their home and confiscated their Falun Gong materials.
After nearly one month of quarantine, Ms. Sun was taken to the Jinzhou City Women’s Detention Center and Mr. Zhou was transferred to the Linghai City Detention Center on February 22.
Ms. Sun’s blood disorder that had disappeared after practicing Falun Gong a few years prior recurred while she was in custody. She lost consciousness and was hospitalized for a blood transfusion days after being taken to the detention center.
At the detention center’s suggestion, Ms. Sun’s family submitted a request on March 2 to the Linghai City Procuratorate to release her on bail. The prosecutor turned them down and indicted her a day later.
Despite Ms. Sun’s condition, she and Mr. Zhou were made to stand trial through a video conference in the detention centers on the morning of March 15. The Linghai City Court judge didn’t allow her family to attend the session, citing the pandemic as an excuse. In the afternoon, the judge secretly sentenced both Ms. Sun and Mr. Zhou to five years and fined them 10,000 yuan without informing their lawyer.
The couple appealed the verdicts with the Jinzhou City Intermediate Court on March 17, which ruled to uphold their original sentences nine days later, March 26. The local social security bureau suspended their pension benefits in April, citing a government policy that no retirees serving time are entitled to any retirement benefits, despite the fact that there is no such a stipulation in Chinese labor law.
Mr. Zhou was first taken to Panjin Prison on July 14, 2021, and later transferred to Jinzhou Prison.
Although Ms. Sun was denied admission to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison due to her medical condition, the authorities kept her in custody and refused to release her on medical parole.
When a guard called Ms. Sun’s son in January 2022 and told him to pay her medical expenses, that was when he learned that she had been incarcerated and was still struggling with the medical condition.
He went to the prison and told to the guard on duty that, since his mother was being held there, it was their responsibility to pay her medical expenses. The guard appeared to be upset with his attitude. When the son demanded to visit his mother moments later, the guard ordered him to show documentation proving his relationship to Ms. Sun.
Jinzhou Prison also called the son and said his father was hospitalized after suffering a stroke. Although they said he was fine and didn’t have any aftereffects, the son is still very worried about him.
Ms. Sun’s persecution devastated her older sister. They had lost their parents when they were young, and her sister, who was over ten years older than she, had raised Ms. Sun. When Ms. Sun was in the hospital following her latest arrest, her sister, who was in her 80s, went to see her almost every day. She fell three times while riding a bus. Her health deteriorated quickly, especially after her younger sister and brother-in-law were sentenced. She passed away on January 26, 2022, six days before the Chinese New Year.
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